Maybe you read “The Siege” when it first appeared in print, in the December 2015 issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. But if you missed it, it’s online now! The story is currently up for an Anthony Award and an Arthur Ellis Award. It’s a noir-infused tale about about a woman who seems to have everything… but her relationship with her husband began as an adulterous affair, and when she finds evidence that he’s up to his old tricks, her world starts to fall apart. My thanks to my friends at Ellery Queen for making the story available for free. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
The list of 2016 Anthony Award finalists is out, and I’m honored to say that I’m on it. My story “The Siege,” published by Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, is up for Best Short Story. If you’re thinking, Wait, I already heard this news a couple of weeks back, that’s because “The Siege” is also up for an Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story. It’s such a thrill to have people respond to a story in this way. My heartfelt thanks to all of the Bouchercon attendees who nominated “The Siege,” and congrats to all of the nominees. I’ll see you in New Orleans!
Last week was Edgar Week and Thursday was the awards banquet. So. Many. Highlights. A quick recap, in list form (because I do love lists):
- I met one of my writing heroes, Walter Mosley, who won MWA’s Grand Master Award this year. Not going to pretend I didn’t go full fangirl. He’s incredible, and his rousing, inspiring acceptance speech brought the house to its feet.
- This year, I served as a judge on the Best First Novel Committee. We chose our winner — THE SYMPATHIZER by Viet Tranh Nguyen — back in January, long before the book won a Pulitzer Prize. It’s an exceptional book, and it was hard to keep quiet about it for months! I’m also proud of the choice for another reason: before 2015, any author who wasn’t born in the US wasn’t eligible for Best First Edgar consideration. Literally, a naturalized US citizen like Viet Tranh Nguyen — who was born in Vietnam — couldn’t have entered a book in the category. While I served on MWA’s board, we changed the rules to finally fix that. So the choice of THE SYMPATHIZER thrills me on many levels. I’d also add that our Best First shortlist was filled with gems and I strongly encourage you to read them all.
- My friend Lou Berney won the Edgar for Best Paperback Original for THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE. That was one of the best moments of the night. Great guy, great book.
- It was a thrill to watch Janet Rudolph win her Ellery Queen Award. Damn, girl. You were long overdue for that.
One of the best things about the Edgars every year is seeing out-of-town friends in New York. This year, that list includes Sara Paretsky, Jeff Abbott, Jon McGoran, Holly West, Erica Ruth Neubauer, Chantelle Aimee Osman, Joe Finder, and many more fabulous folks. I also love seeing so many of my New York friends gathered in one place. Thanks, Edgar, for a night to remember.
Late last year, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine published my story “The Siege.” It was a noir-infused tale about about a woman who seems to have everything… but her relationship with her husband began as an adulterous affair, and when she finds evidence that he’s up to his old tricks, her world starts to fall apart. I’m delighted to announce that “The Siege” is a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story from the Crime Writers of Canada. There are many great stories published every year, so it’s a true honor to have one of mine singled out for recognition. Here’s the complete list of nominees in all categories. Congrats to all!
PS to my non-Canadian friends: In case you’re thinking that you need to check out Arthur Ellis’s work, NO. “Arthur Ellis” was the hangman’s pseudonym back in the days when Canada still had capital punishment. If you’re wondering what the award looks like, that’s it on the left. My people have a wonderfully twisted sense of humor.
I’m thrilled to say that UNLOADED: CRIME WRITERS WRITING WITHOUT GUNS is out now from Down & Out Books. The official release:
Proceeds from the sales of UNLOADED will benefit the nonprofit States United To Prevent Gun Violence
For the first time, more than two dozen crime and mystery authors have joined together to use the strongest weapon at their disposal — words — in a call for reasonable gun control in the U.S.A. In this collection you get all the thrills and excitement you come to expect from a great crime story, but without any guns.
From best sellers and writing legends to the brightest stars of the next generation of crime writers, the twenty-five authors here have taken pen in hand to say enough is enough. Gun violence has got to stop and this is our way of speaking out — by showing that gun violence can be removed from the narrative, and maybe from our lives.
It’s not anti-gun, it’s pro-sanity. And above anything else, these are thrilling crime stories that will surprise and shock, thrill and chill — all without a gun in sight.
The writers are from both sides of the political aisle and many of the authors are gun owners themselves. But everyone felt it was time to speak out. Featuring the talents of J.L. Abramo , Patricia Abbott, Trey R. Barker, Eric Beetner, Alec Cizak, Joe Clifford, Reed Farrel Coleman, Angel Luis Colón, Hilary Davidson, Paul J. Garth, Alison Gaylin, Kent Gowran, Rob Hart, Jeffery Hess, Grant Jerkins, Joe R. Lansdale, S.W. Lauden, Tim O’Mara, Joyce Carol Oates, Tom Pitts, Thomas Pluck, Keith Rawson, Kelli Stanley, Ryan Sayles, and Holly West.
UNLOADED is available in print and as an eBook; buy it from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, IndieBound, or at your favorite independent bookstore. If you’re in New York, come to the launch party at the Mysterious Bookshop on Wednesday, May 4th!
If you know me, you know that I don’t have a lot a gun violence in my books and short stories. That’s not to say there isn’t violence, but I like to come up with creative ways of killing people. When my friend Eric Beetner asked me to contribute a story to UNLOADED: CRIME WRITERS WRITING WITHOUT GUNS, I said yes immediately. The collection will be out next month, and Publishers Weekly has given it a terrific review. I’m excited that my piece was one of the stories singled out for praise in the review: “Hilary Davidson’s ‘Swan Song’ is filled with snappy dialogue and provides a disturbing look at the seamy side of the movie business.” Thanks to Eric and to Down & Out Books for doing such a great job with this collection!
Left Coast Crime is always a terrific conference, but this year’s promises to be spectacular. The Great Cactus Caper starts next Thursday in Phoenix, and the schedule is packed. Will you be there? Here’s where to find me:
Friday, February 26, 2016
9:30-10:30am: I’m on the panel “Plot Digging: The Challenge of Research” with Alan Russell, Jeri Westerson, Marty Wingate, and moderator Leslie Blatt. I’ve done some weird things in the name of research, so I’m excited to be able to talk about them. We’re in the Ellis East Room and we’ll be signing books afterwards in the Atrium from 10:30 to 11am.
5:30-6:30pm: The Crime Writers of Canada is having a cocktail party and I’m one of the hosts. Come by for the drinks and snacks, stay for the prizes! (Hint: we’re going to be playing a game where you may have to wrestle a secret out of me…)
Saturday, February 27, 2016
1:30-2:30pm: Heaven help me, I’m one of the
victims people featured at the event “Fan Guest of Honor Chantelle Aimée Osman Presents The Match Game” in the Regency Ballroom. I’m in good company, alongside S.W. Lauden, Glen Erik Hamilton, Lesa Holstine, and Janet Rudolph. I have a feeling we’re going to get pretty silly (though hopefully not as silly as we got last year at Gar Anthony Haywood’s Torture Fest… I mean the “Been There, Wrote That Game Show.” I’ll get you back one day, Gar!). I guarantee this will be a blast.
7pm-9pm: At the Left Coast Crime Banquet, I’ll be co-hosting a table with my close friend Chris Holm, who is up for a Lefty Award for THE KILLING KIND. You can sign up to hang out with us when you pick up your registration kit!
Four years ago this week, I joined the National Board of the Mystery Writers of America as an At-Large Director. (An aside: that’s the best title ever. I’ve never been able to hear it without thinking “criminal at large.”) Saturday marks the last day of my
reign tenure, with the new board being sworn in. (MWA bylaws have term limits, so even though some members serve on the board for years, you can never serve more than two consecutive two-year terms.) It’s been an incredible experience. Don’t get me wrong: this is a hard-working board, so there have been times I cursed the fact I had reports to write and votes to cast and debates about, well, everything. But, looking back, I can absolutely say it was worth it. If you’re not a member of MWA, I hope you’ll consider joining. And if they ask you the serve on the board… well, think about it! Thanks to everyone on the board for making the past four years such a pleasure.
Searching for a gift for the naughtiest person on your holiday list? Look no further: Thuglit’s CRUEL YULE is here. This collection contains eleven dark, disturbing stories by a crew of Thuglit veterans, including Johnny Shaw, Rob Hart, Jordan Harper, Thomas Pluck, Angel Luis Colón, Jen Conley, Ed Kurtz, Terrence McCauley, and Justin Porter. There’s even a twisted tale by Big Daddy Thug himself (that would be the amazing Todd Robinson, who also edited this collection). My contribution is “Mistletoe,” which opens like this:
“Well, isn’t this an interesting situation,” Ian said.
Sadie turned around and saw her boss standing at the edge of the doorway, smirking at her. The memo about the office holiday party had demanded the wearing of Christmas sweaters, the uglier the better. Ian’s was a red-and-green number featuring one reindeer mounting another from behind.
“What situation?” she asked.
He pointed with his index finger and she followed his gaze upwards. Suspended above the archway was a green sprig of mistletoe. Its red berries loomed like warning lights. Danger, they said. Middle-aged creeper alert.
“That wasn’t there a minute ago,” Sadie said.
“Just because you didn’t see it doesn’t mean it wasn’t there,” Ian smirked. “You just walked through this doorway and right underneath it. Now you have to kiss me.”
“Rules are rules. You got caught under the mistletoe with me.” Ian moved towards her. “You don’t have a choice.”
Sadie tried to push her way back through the doorway, but Ian grabbed her arm. She was a petite girl, five-five in her highest heels. All the running she did made her strong and lean, but it didn’t compensate for a man having more than a hundred pounds on her.
“Let go.” She tried to shake him off, but he was dug in like a tick. “Cut it out. This isn’t funny.”
“It’s pretty funny from where I stand.” Ian grinned at her. “Because there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Spoiler alert: things only go downhill from there. Grab your copy of CRUEL YULE now!
PS If you’re in New York on Wednesday, December 9th, come to the CRUEL YULE launch party at The Mysterious Bookshop. The mayhem will start at 6:30. All welcome!
I’ve written before about what a warm, wonderful welcome French readers have given Lily Moore. The first book in the series, Le Mal Que Tu M’as Fait (The Damage Done), was a hit, and I was honored to learn that Editions Télémaque, my French publisher, was promoting the second novel as one of their books of the season. La Dernière Chute (The Next One to Fall) is out this month (with an incredibly beautiful cover that Lily would appreciate). Once again, the Editions Télémaque team has excelled in every way. Merci et bisous à tous!